Uniaxial Strain and Stress-Controlled Cyclic Responses of Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene: Experiments and Model Simulations

Hassan T., Colak Ö. Ü. , Clayton P. M.

JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, vol.133, no.2, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier


Thermoplastics such as ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) are used for a wide variety of applications, such as bearing material in total replacement of knee and hip components, seals, gears, and unlubricated bearing. Accurate prediction of stresses and deformations of UHMWPE components under service conditions is essential for the design and analysis of these components. This, in turn, requires a cyclic, viscoplastic constitutive model that can simulate cyclic responses of UHMWPE under a wide variety of uniaxial and multiaxial, strain, and stress-controlled cyclic loading. Such a constitutive model validated against a broad set of experimental responses is not available mainly because of the lack of experimental data of UHMWPE. Toward achieving such a model, this study conducted a systematic set of uniaxial experiments on UHMWPE thin-walled, tubular specimens by prescribing strain and stress-controlled cyclic loading. The tubular specimen was designed so that both uniaxial and biaxial experiments can be conducted using one type of specimen. The experimental responses developed are presented for demonstrating the cyclic and ratcheting responses of UHMWPE under uniaxial loading. The responses also are scrutinized for determining the applicability of the thin-walled, tubular specimen in conducting large strain cyclic experiments. A unified state variable theory, the viscoplasticity theory based on overstress for polymers (VBOP) is implemented to simulate the recorded uniaxial responses of UHMWPE. The state of the VBOP model simulation is discussed and model improvements needed are suggested. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4003109]